Provider of applications/services that are distributed through a network to many customers in exchange for a stream of smaller payments as opposed to one lump-sum price.
The term application service provider is often abbreviated as ASP.
This is not to be confused with the ASP programming language (active server pages).
Application service provider is a very general term; there are many different types of ASPs that share very few common characteristics. Many sub-acronyms are currently being introduced in an attempt to better make distinctions, but few of the terms have gained general recognition.